Strong natural disaster hits Osaka in western Japan leaving people dead

The JMA also said it is unlikely that another fault zone responsible for the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake that leveled the port city of Kobe had any influence on the June 18 quake based on the distance between the two points. Heavy shaking was reported across the Kansai region, but there was no tsunami alert issue after the quake, which was centered inland.

A strong quake hit the Japanese city of Osaka during morning rush hour Monday, killing at least two people and injuring 40, Japan's government says.

The 7:58 a.m. quake occurred at a depth of about 13 kilometers in the northern part of Osaka Prefecture, where it registered lower 6 on the Japanese seismic intensity scale of 7, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Footage on national broadcaster NHK showed flooding from burst underground water pipes, train passengers forced to exit along train lines, and schoolchildren gathering outside in precautionary evacuations.

Thee people have been confirmed dead after a magnitude-6.1 quake struck Osaka and neighboring prefectures at 7:58 a.m. on Monday. Auto makers Honda, Mitsubishi, Toyota and Daihatsu all stopped production at plants in the region.

Kepco said its Fukui nuclear plants were operating normally.

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In the May statement, however, the U.S. central bank said that " economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate ". Inflation is projected to hit 1.7 per cent this year, below the bank's target of just under 2 per cent.

Shinji Toda, natural disaster geology professor at Tohoku University, said the Uemachi fault in Osaka Prefecture could be involved in the quake.

"It was so terrifying because this is my first natural disaster". More than 170,000 households in Osaka and neighboring Hyogo prefecture lost power temporarily but it was restored within two hours, the utility said.

The magnitude 6.1 natural disaster struck the city of Osaka and the surrounding area Monday about 8 a.m.

Kansai Electric Power said no irregularities had been detected at the Mihama, Takahama and Ohi nuclear plants after the quake. In 1995, a magnitude 6.9 quake killed more than 6000 people when it struck in neighbouring Kobe.

On March 11, 2011, a devastating magnitude 9.0 quake struck under the Pacific Ocean, and a resulting tsunami caused widespread damage and claimed thousands of lives.

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